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j:^2                                               MEDICAL  JURISPRUDENCE

That the presence of moisture in the garments having suspected seminal
stains is not only conducive to the growth of moulds and bacteria which are
frequently noticed but also to the growth and development of certain insects
may be realized from the following case : —

In connection with a case under section 376, I.P.C., the clothes of the accused suffer-
ing from itches were received for the detection of seminal stains While searching for
sDematozoa in the suspected seminal stains the eggs of Sarcoptes Svabiei (Itch mites) in
various stages of development with a few beautiful hexapod larvae with active move-
ments were detected under the microscope. The clothes were kept packed and sealed
for over a month. It appeared that the moisture originally present in the stains was
sufficient to keep the eggs fresh for further development.**

The detection of even one entire spermatozoon is quite sufficient for an
experienced examiner to give a definite opinion. If no spermatozoa are
found, but if the Florence test is positive, there should be no difficulty in
affirming that a particular stain is due to semen. If Florence test is negative
and if a few detached heads of spermatozoa are found, it may be assumed
that the specimen has perhaps been badly handled and a careful examination
of another specimen from the same garment is likely to reveal entire sper-
matozoa. It may also be mentioned that during the decomposition of a
seminal stain the tail of a spermatozoon is the first to suffer and to disappear,
but the head resists for some time; hence it is quite possible to find only a
few heads of the spermatozoa in a decomposed seminal stain. An experienced
examiner is not likely to miss the characteristic appearances of these heads
and his opinion in such a case is quite valid. However, an inexperienced
examiner is not justified to base his opinion on the finding of heads alone,
as certain spores of fungi and some bacteria may resemble the heads of
spermatozoa, although a well-stained slide should leave no room for any

Some medical jurists believe that there can be no semen without the
presence of spermatozoa, but this is not true, inasmuch as cases of aspermia,
i.e. semen without spermatozoa, or of oligospermia, i.e. semen with a few
spermatozoa, are occasionally seen. These conditions may be found in the
very young, in the very old, or in those suffering from chronic epididymitis
and other testicular diseases. Chronic venereal disease, excessive sexual
intercourse or onanism, or some constitutional causes may produce these
conditions even in healthy young men.

A man, aged 20 years, married a girl, 19 years old, but as he had no issue by her,
he married again at the age of 30 years. He had no issue even by this wife. At the
age of 37 years while he was thinking seriously of marrying for the third time, his
semen was examined and found to be absolutely aspermic. In another case a man
married at the age of 32 and had a child within a year and a half, but he had no other
issue during the next twelve years. His seminal fluid was examined and was found
quite free from spermatozoa. There was a history of excessive sexual indulgence in
both these cases. In a third case a young man, aged 25, who had been addicted to
excessive self-abuse since the age of 14 years, sought the advice of his doctor for scanty
semen, as he thought that it was an indication of impending impotency. A fresh specimen
of his semen obtained in the laboratory did not contain any spermatozoa, and the
quantity was only half a cubic centimetre—about J of the normal. It did not give a
satisfactory positive reaction with Florence test.56

Biological Examination.—In 1901, Farmim,57 proposed a biological test
for human semen based on the same principles as the precipitin test for blood.
He used human semen or testicular emulsion for the antigen, and injected
5 to 10 cc. of it into the peritoneal cavity of a rabbit from five to eight times
at intervals of from six to eight days. He found that the serum obtained
from the blood of the rabbit thus treated gave a precipitate with both recent
and old emulsions of human semen which had been dried and kept for thirty-

55.    Beng. Chem, Exam. Annual Report, 1936, p. 16.

56.   For cases of aspermia and oligospermia vide also Currie and Lissimore, Brit. Med.
Jour., Jan. 28, 1939, p. 189.

57.    Jour. Artier. Med. Assoc., Dec. 28, 1901, p. 1721.